The ingredient your revision schedule is missing? Fresh air!
May and June bring exams for many, and lots of time spent hitting the books. Although having a solid revision schedule is important, looking after your health and wellness is essential to success. It’s National Walking Month this May, and with the weather warming up, it’s the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor exercise and the fresh air that comes with it. Getting out there isn’t just great for your physical health, your mental well-being will also be enhanced by fresh air and exercise.
Shockingly, people in the UK spend 92% of their time stuck indoors. There are a huge number of advantages to getting out of the house. Here we explore the learning and focus-boosting benefits of fresh air and exercise, just in time for exam season.
Energise your body, mind and soul
There’s no need for energy drinks or coffee during those intense revision sessions, as the University of Rochester explains:
“’Nature is fuel for the soul,’ says Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. ‘Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature,’ he says. The findings, adds Ryan, are important for both mental and physical health. ‘Research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings,’ says Ryan.”
A study published by ScienceDirect also found that exposure to fresh air and nature increases energy in 9 out of 10 people. So, why not take a brisk walk if you’re feeling sluggish during revision?
Increase those happy hormones
Staying positive is essential during exam season. Completing revision and keeping your chin up isn’t always easy when stress sets in. Embracing long term, healthy habits, like increasing physical exercise, is integral to the increase of happy hormones. Living a better lifestyle will also inspire a more confident you, meaning you can deal with stressful scenarios more effectively, efficiently and positively.
Those who enjoy greater physical activity and better sleep quality were found to have higher levels of positive emotions according to this study. The production of mood regulating endorphins – in particular serotonin, known as the ‘happy hormone’ – is part and parcel of taking regular physical exercise. As well as a stronger mind, those who head outdoors more often have stronger immune systems, leaving them fitter and healthier to take on life’s little and big challenges.
Improve concentration and focus
Spending time outdoors has been proven to enhance brain function, particularly in relation to concentration levels and focus. The human brain needs 20% of the body’s oxygen to function. Make sure your brain gets the supplies it needs to keep it working at top capacity. The presence of more oxygen brings increased clarity to the brain to boost concentration, improve focus, and sharpen the mind.
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